Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

Microburst damages Rhode Island town

Strong to severe thunderstorms quickly tore through parts of Southern New England Tuesday, leaving behind damage in some communities.

Heavy downpours led to street flooding in Southeastern Massachusetts, while the National Weather Service (NWS) put a Tornado Warning into effect in Narragansett after radar indicated the storm was capable of producing a tornado. The storm moved offshore before that could happen, but a microburst left one neighborhood looking like a disaster area.

Gold Seal

The sooner, the better! Study says Washington, DC could sink 6 inches into the Earth by 2100

© Jim Bourg/Reuters
Washington, DC is slowly seeping into the Earth, and it could sink another six inches in the next century due to subsurface land movement under the Chesapeake Bay, according to a new study.

The research confirms twin hypotheses, both of which are worrying. The first is that tide gauges show sea level rises in the Chesapeake region are twice the global average, and that levels are rising faster than elsewhere on the East Coast. The second is that the pre-historic ice sheets in the north which pushed up the land around DC are now melting, and the land in the Chesapeake region is settling back down as a result.

"It's a bit like sitting on one side of a water bed filled with very thick honey, then the other side goes up," explained Ben DeJong, a doctoral student in geology at the University of Vermont (UVM) and the lead author of the study, in a statement. "But when you stand, the bulge comes down again."

Researchers at UVM said the sinking land under the nation's capital would exacerbate the effects of flooding caused by climate change and rising ocean waters, and threaten the region's roads, monuments, wildlife refuges, and military installations.


3.6 magnitude earthquake rocks parts of northern Oklahoma

An earthquake has shaken parts of northern Oklahoma near the Kansas border.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 3:28 p.m. about 11 miles south-southwest of Medford in Grant County. Medford is located about 85 north of Oklahoma City and 17 miles south of the Kansas border.

Geologists say the temblor occurred at a depth of about three miles.

No injuries or damage was immediately reported. Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans and damage is not likely from earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey has said it is likely that many recent earthquakes in the state are being triggered by the injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations.

Source: Associated Press


Magnitude 4 earthquake hits northern Italy



Date time 2015-08-01 20:47:53.3 UTC

Location 45.85 N ; 10.76 E

Depth 10 km

Distances 130 km E of Milan, Italy / pop: 1,306,661 / local time: 22:47:53.3 2015-08-01
37 km SW of Trento, Italy / pop: 104,946 / local time: 22:47:53.3 2015-08-01
3 km SW of Molina di Ledro, Italy / pop: 1,498 / local time: 22:47:53.3 2015-08-01

Source parameters reviewed by a seismologist


Magnitude 4.6 earthquake rocks Davao, Philippines

© Phivolcs
Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte felt the magnitude 4.6 quake at intensity IV.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Saturday evening reported a magnitude 4.6 earthquake in Davao del Norte.

The magnitude 4.6 earthquake with epicenter 28 kilometers northwest of Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte occurred at 11:17 p.m. on Saturday.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the quake with 8 kilometers depth of focus was felt at intensity IV in Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte and intensity III in Davao City.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning bolt kills woman riding pillion in Thailand

© Pongpat Wongyala
Lightning left a deep hole in the seat of the motorcycle on which Isaraporn Loesking was travelling.
A woman died after being hit by lighting while riding pillion in the rain with her four year-old nephew who was slightly injured on Sunday afternoon.

Isaraporn Loesking, 24, was travelling on a motorcycle driven by her younger brother Pongpat, 19, on a small road that passes through open rice fields in tambon Khlong 5 in Khlong Luang district when a bolt of lightning directly struck her, killing her instantly.

The powerful impact caused the three to fall off the bike. The seat where Isaraporn sat was holed and ripped by the bolt. Isaraporn's nephew, who sat in the middle, and Mr Pongpat sustained minor injuries in the crash.

It was not clear if Israpoen was wearing any ornament that could draw the lightening bolt.

Arrow Down

Sinkhole swallows car in Fernandina Beach, Florida


Car in sinkhole

No one was injured when a sinkhole swallowed a car at an apartment complex in Fernandina Beach.

It happened Saturday at the Amelia Landings complex.

The sheriff's office believe the sinkhole formed after a water main break.

Crews were working to repair the sinkhole Saturday night.

Cloud Precipitation

Around 60 dead as floods, landslide hit Bengal, Manipur and Odisha in India


A road under water in Manipur's Chandel district
The aftermath of Cyclone Komen has hit large parts of Bengal, Odisha and Manipur, causing floods and landslides in which over 60 people have died so far.

The depression has reached Gangetic West Bengal. Rain will continue but intensity likely to be less. Heavy rains have been predicted for the next 24 hours.

In Bengal, incessant rain has not only sunk large parts of capital Kolkata but also 12 districts, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

At least 39 people died and over 1 lakh (100,000) people ended up in relief camps after 1.8 lakh houses were damaged. Farmland of over 21 lakh hectare has been submerged.


Thousands of mysterious sheep deaths probed in Iceland


Farmers would normally expect to no more than 2% of their sheep to die, but this spring some lost up to a third
Farmers in Iceland are baffled by the unexplained deaths of thousands of the country's sheep.

About 5,000 sheep died this spring, with the northern and western regions worst affected, and so far experts haven't been able to work out why, Morgunbladid's Iceland Monitor website reports. One theory is that sulphur emitted during a recent volcanic eruption might be to blame, as it could have contaminated vegetation and caused malnutrition in the sheep. The huge eruption at the Holuhraun lava field lasted for six months, and released millions of tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.

"When the ash cloud moves over the country from the east, it is often accompanied by rain," Prof Jonas Eliasson, from the University of Iceland, tells the site. "The rain cleans the sulphur out of the air and snow does the job even better. When the snow melts in the spring, the sulphur remains on vegetation and in the soil."

Comment: See in addition this earlier report from June: Hundreds of sheep mysteriously die across Iceland


Locust swarm destroys agriculture of village in Southern Russia

© Wikimedia
Swarms of locusts have plagued humans since the advent of agriculture.

Pesticides and other methods have controlled their spread and ability to swarm and destroy crops in the last hundred years or so. That said, if left unchecked, they still can cause biblical havoc on crops - just ask farmers in southern Russia.

This week tens of thousands of locusts swarmed the Russian village Achikulak in Stavropol krai and destroyed local agriculture. The swarm was caught on video (see below).